Sûfukuji monastery, (in) Ôtsu, Shiga Prefecture, JP

Raw data

Sûfuku-ji is associated with Emperor Tenji (r. 661-672) and his effort to establish a network of state temples. According to the Fusô Ryakki (12th century), he ordered its construction in 668, a year after moving his capital in 667 to Ôtsu. Along with Minami Shiga haiji, Sûfuku-ji was one of four temples in auspicious locations around Emperor Tenji’s Ôtsu Palace.

Sûfuku-ji was located in the foothills of Mt. Hiei, to the northwest of Minami Shiga haiji and Ôtsu Palace. It was built on an East-West road that once ran from the Southwestern shore of Lake Biwa to the Kyoto basin over the mountains. Roof tiles, similar to those at Kawaradera, have been found at the site. In 1928, archaeologists uncovered the foundations of the Miroku-dô (Hall of Maitreya Buddha) on the so-called north crest (kitao-ne), as well as the Sho-kondô (Small Golden Hall) on the middle crest, and the Golden Hall and auditorium on the south crest. They also discovered a nested reliquary set made of bronze, glass, gold, and silver in the central foundation stone of the pagoda. More recently, traces of a later building, believed to be Emperor Tenmu’s Bonjakuji, was found on the south crest.

In the early Heian period (794-1185), Sûfuku-ji was listed as one of the ten most important imperial temples. It suffered two disastrous fires in 921 and 965 respectively. In 981, the imperial court ordered Ryôgen (chief abbot of Enryakuji on Mount Hiei) to supervise repairs, a task that Ryôgen passed on to his disciple Anshin, whom he named abbot of Sûfuku-ji. Hence the monastery became part of the Tendai sect’s network, headquartered at Enryakuji. However, it declined by the late Heian period, and was seldom mentioned thereafter.

-McCallum (2009: 68-70)

-Groner (2002: 207, 425)

-“Otsu-kyô.” http://www.rekihaku.otsu.shiga.jp/josetsu/theme_6.html

-“Sûfukuji ato.” http://www.rekihaku.otsu.shiga.jp/jiten/data/064.html

Src: JPN
Input by: Lizbeth H. Piel, Mar 10, 2010

"Sufukuji, in Shi-gasato, Otsu, was founded at the request of Emperor Tenji" - Groner (2002:207)

#9 - The site of Sufuku-ji Temple
(situated S of the hill terminal of Sakamoto Cable Car, NW of Karasaki train station and Shimosakamoto highway interchange), a map "Historical spots - Lake Biwa, Otsu" http://www.otsu.or.jp/en/history/index.htm
Input by: tmciolek, Mar 16, 2010

Final data (and their sources)

Last updated: 17 Jul 2014

Lat/Long coordinates' accuracy:
The monastery in question is assumed to be situated actually no farther than 200 m from the point defined by the coordinates below.

Location of Sufukuji monastery, JP.

General location of the Sufukuji monastery, JP.

Lat 35.062 Long 135.8454

Mapping & images: Falling Rain Genomics (http://www.fallingrain.com), 2009.

Google Map link:


Final data - explanatory notes

1. Monastery's name

  • Sûfuku-ji 崇福寺 monastery. Alternative English spelling: Sûfukuji, Sufukuji

2. Monastery's modern country & province

  • Japan: Shiga Prefecture

3. Monastery's alternative/historical names

  • [missing data]

4. Monastery's lat/long coordinates

  • Approx., Lat 35.062 Long 135.8454 - location of Sufukuji - S of the hill terminal of Sakamoto Cable Car, NW of Karasaki train station, as indicated on a map "Historical spots - Lake Biwa, Otsu" - http://www.otsu.or.jp/en/history/index.htm, estimated using maps.google.com - tmciolek, 16 Mar 2010.

5. Other known nearby Buddhist monasteries

6. Modern name of the known nearest city, town, or village

  • Ôtsu-shi (Ôtsu City), Shiga-sato (Shiga hamlet) sanchû

7. The settlement's alternative/historical names

8. The settlement's coordinates

9. Monastery's major Buddhist tradition

  • Mahayana

10. Monastery's Buddhist sub-tradition

  • Tendai sect (in the 10th century). - Groner (2002: 207)

11. Date-early

MBM chrono-tag 0667-99c - tmciolek 17 Jul 2014
0667-99c 0700-32c 0733-66c 0767-99c 0800-32c 0833-66c 0867-99c 0900-32c 0933-66p dated-el

12. Date-intermediate

  • [missing data]

13. Date-late

  • 10th century. - Groner (2002: 207)

MBM chrono-tag 0933-66p - tmciolek 17 Jul 2014

14. Details of contacts with other monasteries

  • It was part of the Ôtsukyô temple system established by Emperor Tenji. Through Tenji there is a relationship with Kawaradera in Asuka (Nara Prefecture). -McCallum (2009: 68)
  • In the 10th century, it was part of the Tendai sect’s network of temples under Enryakuji. - Groner (2002: 425)

15. Type of evidence regarding the monastery

  • Archaeological, documents

16. Additional notes

  • [missing data]

17. Corrections & addenda to this page were kindly provided by

  • [missing data]

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